God's Love LetterService - Dec 20, 2020
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December 20, 2020 Bulletin

4th Sunday of Advent

 

Prelude     “Still, Still, Still”

Arr. by Ben Logan

 

Welcoming and Call to Worship

 

Carols       "O Come All Ye Faithful"        UMH #234

 

1.  O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
     O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
     Come and behold him, born the King of angels;

Refrain:
O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him,
O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

 

2.  True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
     lo, he shuns not the Virgin's womb;
     Son of the Father, begotten not created;

     (Refrain)

 

3.  Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
     O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
     Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
     (Refrain)

 

4.  See how the shepherds, summoned to his cradle,
     leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
     we too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;
     (Refrain)

 

5.  Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,
     we would embrace thee with love and awe.
     Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?
     (Refrain)

 

6.  Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,
     Jesus, to thee be all glory given.
     Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
     (Refrain)

 

"Sing We Now of Christmas"       UMH #237 (vv. 1-3)

1.  Sing we now of Christmas, Noel, sing we here!
     Hear our grateful praises to the babe so dear.

Refrain:
Sing we Noel, the King is born, Noel!
Sing we now of Christmas, sing we now Noel!

2.  Angels called to shepherds, "Leave your flocks at rest,
     journey forth to Bethlehem, find the child so blest."

(Refrain)

 

3.  In Bethlehem they found him; Joseph and Mary mild,
     seated by the manger, watching the holy child.

(Refrain)

Lighting the Fourth Advent Candle

Luke 1:26-38

26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” 29 She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. 31 Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. 33 He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. 36 Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.”

38 Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

 

Musical Response:   

V1    Father, enthroned on high, holy, holy;

         ancient eternal Light, hear our prayer.

Refrain   Come, O Redeemer, come, grant us mercy.

Come, O Redeemer, come, grant us peace.

V2    Lord, save us from the dark of our striving,

         faithless and troubled hearts, weighed down.  Refrain

V3    Look now upon our need, Lord, be with us.

         Heal us and make us free from our sin.  Refrain

 

Pastoral Prayer & Lord's Prayer

 

Carol     "Love Came Down at Christmas"    UMH #242

 

1.  Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine;
     Love was born at Christmas; star and angels gave the sign.

 

2.  Worship we the Godhead, Love incarnate, Love divine;
     worship we our Jesus, but wherewith for sacred sign?

3.  Love shall be our token; love be yours and love be mine;
     love to God and all men, love for plea and gift and sign.

 

Special Music       “A Celtic Noel”

Tom Norager, Pearl Swanson, Cathy & Steve Grattan

Jackie Prause, flute

Choral setting by Patrick Tierney  

Scripture Readings

John 1:1-5, 9-14

 

1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.  What came into being through the Word was life, in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.  9 The true light that shines on all people was coming into the world. 10 The light was in the world, and the world came into being through the light, but the world didn’t recognize the light.  11 The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. 12 But those who did welcome him, those who believed in his name, he authorized to become God’s children, 13 born not from blood nor from human desire or passion, but born from God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his home among us.  We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

 

Message       “God's Love Letter”

 

Invitation to Give & Offertory    “Away in a Manger”

Jackie Prause, flute       Kathy Cay, piano

Arr. by Karen Smith and David Snyder

 

Musical Act of Praise:     W&S #3057 (v. 1)

Glory in the highest and peace on the earth!

Glory in the highest and peace on the earth!

Sing out the glad tidings of our Savior's birth!

Sing out the glad tidings of our Savior's birth!

Prayer of Dedication

Rejoicing God, we offer you thanks and praise for this season of anticipation, this season of Advent. As we prepare for the birth of your son, we share our tithes and offerings with the joy and excitement that is common as one anticipates the birth of a new child.  Bless these gifts in your Holy Name.  Amen. 

 

Carol     "Angels We Have Heard on High"   UMH #238

1.  Angels we have heard on high sweetly singing o’er the plains,
     and the mountains in reply echoing their joyous strains.

Refrain: Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

 

2.  Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong?

     What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heavenly song?

(Refrain)

3.  Come to Bethlehem and see Christ whose birth the angels sing;
     come, adore on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

(Refrain)

4.  See him in a manger laid, whom the choirs of angels praise;
     Mary, Joseph, lend your aid, while our hearts in love we raise.

(Refrain)

 

Benediction

 

Postlude    “Hallelujah Chorus”

By Handel

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